Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome takes heart from Vincenzo Nibali
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 30/08/16 3:58pm
Chris Froome has revealed he will take hope from Vincenzo Nibali’s remarkable late comeback at the Giro d’Italia in his bid to overturn a 58-second deficit to Nairo Quintana at the Vuelta a Espana.
Nibali was 4min 43sec adrift of the lead in fourth overall with two mountain stages remaining but then turned the tables on his rivals over the next 48 hours and won the race by 52 seconds.
Froome has twice sustained losses of more than 30 seconds to an in-form Quintana so far at the Vuelta, but with five summit finishes and a time trial still to come, he believes there is no reason to panic.
Speaking at Team Sky's rest-day press conference on Tuesday, Froome said: "I think we all have to remember and look back to the Giro and remember how quickly things can change. Even with a four-minute deficit, Nibali managed to win it.
"That obviously gives me a lot of hope and serves as a reminder that things, especially in Grand Tours, can change quite quickly."
After winning the Tour de France in July, Froome rode both the Olympic road race and time trial at the start of August and was consequently unable to rest and then rebuild form for the Vuelta.
Quintana, on the other hand, skipped the Olympics in favour of a block of altitude training, and Froome believes it is only natural that he has trailed the Colombian so far.
Froome added: "I've got a lot of respect for him as a rider and as a rival. He has definitely lifted himself after the Tour. He had a lot of downtime; he didn't do the Olympics; he went back to Colombia; trained up at altitude; he has come here ready.
"With the Olympics in the middle, there wasn't any time [for me] to reset and start rebuilding towards the Vuelta. That is why I feel as if I'm building into the race and hopefully I will get back to my best for the last week."
The Vuelta resumes on Wednesday with a 168.6km 11th stage ending with a category-one summit finish at Pena Cabarga. Find out more about the route in our race guide and follow the action with our live blog from 3pm BST.